People-Centred Research

Learn the process and methods to uncover people’s needs, opinions, and behaviours; and apply them to drive the development of successful products and services.

Enrol here!

Workshop Dates: February 10-14, 2020

Faculty: Shruti RamiahKate Burn

What is People-Centred Research?

From design, architecture, arts, and culture; to policy-making, academia, or software development – a wide range of disciplines now recognise the benefit of learning from users and stakeholders to create more effective and appropriate solutions. 

People-centered research provides the hands-on skills to help you understand people’s behaviours, opinions, expectations, and goals for using a product or service, and how to apply these skills with empathy, honesty and pragmatism. During this workshop, you will learn the fundamentals of the research process: crafting research questions, developing methods and tools, getting inspired by people’s contexts, motivations, and barriers; and understanding how to guide design teams to focus on users’ needs. 

Take away the skills to guide the development of successful products and services: what do people need? how should we build it? is what we’ve built effective?

What will you learn? 

  • Learn the fundamental skills, tools, methods, and outputs of people-centred design research 
  • Develop a process framework for projects
  • Dive into field-research techniques, team-based analysis, and storytelling of research findings
  • Understand an approach for uncovering new design directions, not just validating them
  • Share, discuss, and challenge the opportunities people-centred research presents
  • How to gather, organise, and make sense of information from a range of methods and disseminate it in teams to stakeholders

What will you NOT learn? 

  • Though in-home interviews are core to doing design research in a western context in Japan, it is not commonplace to welcome strangers into your home. We will create an opportunity to practice interviewing outside of the home environment
  • This workshop focuses on design research methods and how they fit into the whole design process. Please do not expect to practice all aspects of the design process
  • The research methods we teach are mostly qualitative. We will briefly discuss quantitative methods but will not practice how to plan and analyse quantitative methods
  • Though some of the content will be relevant for those who want to build skills in UX research, this is not the focus of the course

How will you learn it?

We will introduce a series of core methods, knowledge, and skills over the course of the week, divided into daily parts. Each part will include a hands-on activity to test the method, a teaching session that includes some theory (not too much!), and discussions to answer questions and learn from one another. Most activities will be team-based, but there will be plenty of opportunities to grow your individual skills. 

Here’s a link to a Medium article by Patricia Herrero about her experience attending the workshop in 2018. Please note that some workshop content may change for the 2020 Winter School.

Is this for you?

Yes, if you are curious and interested in understanding the users, customers, and stakeholders you are designing for. The workshop usually attracts a diverse range of professions and industries, and together we explore how this research process translates into many different contexts.

Expertise level of the workshop

Medium – you will get the most out of the workshop if you have a good understanding of the entire design process and applying research to your work.

What you need for the workshop

  • A high level of spoken and written English
  • Willingness to go outside the workshop venue to try practical activities
  • Willingness to speak to strangers
  • Enthusiasm to collaborate in pairs and small groups
  • Your computer, a notebook, and pen
  • Knowledge of basic design and presentation tools is a plus

Enrol now! There is a maximum number of 20 places available for each workshop, and all admission is based on a first-come first-served basis. Enrolment will be closed when the workshops are full.